The Law Office of Gary C. Nelson

We’re On Your Side

Does workers’ compensation cover heat stroke?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Workplace Illness |

Working outside in hot weather puts some employees at risk of developing heat stroke, a serious medical condition. But is heat stroke considered a work-related illness that is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

There are several things that you should know about heat stroke and workers’ compensation.

What are the signs of heat stroke?

Heat stroke occurs when the body overheats to dangerous levels from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. You might experience headaches, dizziness and nausea along with an extremely high body temperature and a rapid heart rate. In severe cases, you could lose consciousness. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment to prevent organ damage, brain damage or death. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 36 heat-related worker deaths in 2021.

What occupations have higher heat stroke risks?

Outdoor workers exposed to hot weather for long periods have higher risks of heat stroke. Those working in construction, landscaping, utility industries and farm environments face increased risks.

Is heat stroke covered under workers’ comp?

If heat stroke occurs on the job, it generally qualifies as a work-related illness. Workers’ compensation could cover your medical bills and pay disability benefits for any lasting effects while also offering you partial income replacement while you recover. If you develop heat stroke due to your working conditions, notify your employer right away.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that disproportionately affects people working outdoors in hot weather. Workers in high-risk occupations should take steps to prevent heat illness and know their rights to workers’ comp benefits if they do get sick.